Posted to the Ethnos Project by on June 16th, 2013


In this study, we report the results of a content analysis of 948 papers from selected peer reviewed journals and conferences published between 2000 and 2010 in the academic literature on the interdisciplinary field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD or ICT4D). Results indicate that the majority of the literature focuses on business and empowerment as the primary domains of ICTD work, and on ICT in general and on information systems as the most common technology objects of analysis, with a growing trend toward mobile phones. Furthermore, most of the literature consists of studies of individual countries or of organizations, and the most frequent contributions are field studies and best practices, with a growing trend towards contributing theory and policy recommendations. This is the first-ever comprehensive analysis of the ICTD literature across multiple sources over ten years; it offers important insights about the trends and directions of research in the ICTD field. Further analysis will explore additional dimensions, such as the goals of development, the relationship between ICT and society, and the epistemological stances in the research, in order to offer a better understanding of the changes over time and the differences across the different journals and conferences studied.

Keywords: ICTD, content analysis, developing countries, domain, theory, meta analysis

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